Dry Creek Run is located on Brunswick Pike in Lambertville.
I love the smell of the forest after a rain, the commingling of fresh and musky. I was on the trail before 8 am, and the forest was bursting with bird songs and the rustling sounds of unseen animals. A morning hike is a wonderful way to start the day. It always refreshes me and renews my connection with the Earth.
The feeling I have when I enter the woods is similar to the excitement my children have when I tell them they can have a boo-bop (My Littlest can’t say “ice pops”).
My kids anticipate the crinkling sound of the boo-bops wrapper, the sweet taste of sugar, and the icy-cold pop cooling the hot summer heat.
In the forest, I love the sound of the birds, the pungent scent of wet earth, the cacophony of woodland animals alternating with stillness… the most perfect summer treat.
The magenta flowers of Smartweed, Persicaria spp., stood out beautifully against the green backdrop.Even though the idea of trying to identify Sedges to species level gives me agita, I always love to see them in flower.Jewelweed, Impatiens capensis, studded with water droplets that look like crystals.Peek-a-boo! No berries are safe from me! These wiggly squiggly lines are from a leaf minor, Liriomyza eupatoriella, who uses White Snake root, Eupatorium rugosum, as its host for its larva.Sassafrass, Sassafras albidum, looking picture perfect this morning.I think this is American Jumpseed, Persicaria virginiana. This white tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus, looked pretty annoyed that I startled them out of the bed.Stickseed, Hacklia virginiana. I love that the fruits look like little ornaments hanging off the branches. I don’t love how they stick to just about everything!When I first saw this I thought it was a fruit until I picked it up and realized it was hollow. This is a gall, which is an abnormal growth on a plant that is triggered by a pest or a disease.A sea of Hogpeanuts, Amphicarpaea bracteata. Have you ever seen someone and totally blanked on their name even though you knew them? Well, that happened to me when I saw the Hogpeanuts. I knew I knew the name but I just stared at it blankly and couldn’t retrieve it from my mental rolodex.White Avens, Geum canadense. The young leaves of this plant sort of look like strawberry leaves.When I saw this bench tucked in the woods, I imagined a person sitting there, deeply in thought while writing beautiful poetry.This Jewelweed, Impatiens capensis, came up through the boardwalk. It is a common plant but I always feel happy when I see the brilliant orange flowers.I am pretty sure this is Heal-all, Prunella vulgaris. There aren’t any flowers on it, but based upon the leaves and the flowering stalk I am pretty sure that is what it is. I really love the purple flowers of this little plant!Black-and-gold Flat Millipede Apheloria virginiensis. Apparently these little critters produce a cyanide substance that can cause skin irritation so please look but do not touch!The trail was littered with fruit! Pignut hickory (Carya glabra), Bitternut (Carya cordiformis), Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovata), Pin Oak (Quercus pallustris), Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida).
While walking along the trail, I heard a chorus of frogs. I knew that if there were that many frogs, there needed to be a body of water. I was watching the clock because I had to get back to the office by 9am for a meeting but I HAD TO FIND THE FROGS! I did make it back to the office on time, but I had to run all the way back to my car.
Isn’t this little pond gorgeous?! Hearing the frogs and finding this pond was the highlight of my morning.What a perfect place to come and just be with nature. It was so loud and so quiet at the same time.